Easter 2021-Our RISEN King-04/04/21

Sermon Series: Jesus, Our King’

Message: ‘Our RISEN King’                                      Text: Various

Introduction: I assume, that you’re here today, either in our building or on Facebook Live, because you believe, to varying extents, that Jesus rose from the dead. That you believe it was a miracle.

I assume, that to varying extents, you believe miracles still happen, that God intervenes in ways that can’t be explained by reason or science.

And I also assume, that to varying extents, you believe that God makes promises and keeps those promises.

But, I assume that some, many of you perhaps, have some degree of doubt that Jesus’ resurrection from the dead 2000 years ago, has any real relevance in your like today. PP:

  • Perhaps some, in your hearts of hearts, are asking: God ‘Where’s my miracle? Where are the promises that you’ve made, that I can hold on to? God, I just can’t see them.

I think that for too many people, Easter has lost its relevance, its importance, in their everyday lives.

  • Yes, we do our perfunctory religious activity by attending a worship service…

and btw, we can do that now w/o ever leaving our homes.

  • But we’re more interested in the egg hunt, and an overindulgent family dinner.

Easter, to many, even many Christians, is just not relevant. But.. it doesn’t have to be! PP:

Pastor John Macarthur wrote: The world has heard many important messages. The world has learned many great truths. The world has experienced many dramatic and life-changing events. But not any one of them, nor all of them combined, can come close to the significance of the resurrection of Jesus Christ. Nothing in the history of the world… can match the significance, of Jesus being raised from the dead.

In the resurrection of Jesus Christ is the heart of the Christian faith. Christianity is a belief, is a series of truths and doctrines and principles that rise and fall on the resurrection of Christ.

When Jesus rose from the dead, He proved Himself to be exactly who He claimed to be. When He rose from the dead by the power of the Father, He was affirmed to have accomplished what He came to accomplish.

And in 2 Corinthians 4:14 it says that as God raised up Jesus from the dead, so also shall He raise us up.

  • Ours is a belief in resurrection life…
  • and that’s built on the resurrection of Jesus Christ.
  • Because He lives, we shall live also”. (End quote)

Easter, the resurrection of Jesus from the dead, is the central pillar of Christianity! Making it relevant in every part of our lives… then and today.

  • Can I get an Amen!

Transition: OK, Here’s my plan for the next 30 mins or so. I’ll read the resurrection event in John 20:1-22… all I ask you to do… is just listen to the wonder and awesome truth, that is God’s Word.

  1. Jesus, raised from the dead (John 20:1-22)

(read from Bible)

Transition: Let that sink in for a moment. Let the events of that glorious morning find their way to your heart.

  • Do you believe God’s Word, the words of Jesus’ resurrection from the dead?
  • Do you remember the importance that had in your life when you first came to faith in Jesus?
  • Do you want Jesus’ resurrection to have significance, relevance in your life today?

Then, track with me as I give you 11 amazing miracles, promises of God in bullet point style,  that you can hold on to. My intent is to help rekindle in your heart the relevance of Jesus’ resurrection from the dead, today, tomorrow and every day of your life, until you see Jesus face to face in heaven,

  • Which, btw, is bullet point F.

Listen, because of all that you have gone through in the past year, including the COVID pandemic, you may not be aware, nor may have experienced  many of these miracles.

But Christian, be assured, these promises of God, are yours and can help make Jesus’ resurrection from the dead more than just a day to find eggs and eat a big meal with family…

  • they just may change your life.
  1. His relevance in our lives today
  2. Evangelistic mandate

The first miracle of Jesus’ resurrection from the dead, is actually a command, a mandate form our risen King, Jesus. And it’s one we must obey in order to know His blessing.

PP: And Jesus came and said to them, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to Me. Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you…(Matthew 28:18–20a)

Jesus begins by stating that as a result of His resurrection, God the Father has given Him all authority: That means; no one is higher, has more power, or demands more obedience, than Jesus.

In accordance with Jesus’ absolute authority, He calls those who are His by faith, to share the Good News of forgiveness and life in Jesus, with those who have not yet come to faith in Him. PP:

  • It’s a perpetual command. Its relevance was not limited to His initial disciples… but to every follower of Jesus Christ, then, now and in the future until He returns.

You see, at its heart, Jesus’ resurrection from the dead, gives us an evangelistic mandate and if we claim the name of Christ, if we seek His blessing, then we must make sharing the Gospel with

others, a regular part of our lives!

  • Jesus, our risen King, has declared that evangelism … is relevant today.
  1. Perpetual presence

PP: … And behold, I am with you always, to the end of the age. (Matthew 28:20b) … for He has said, “I will never leave you nor forsake you.” (Hebrews 13:5b) Do you not know that you are God’s temple and that God’s Spirit dwells in you? (1 Cor 3:16)

When we see the word behold in the Bible, it means to pay attention to what follows because it’s significant. What follows the word behold?

  • I am with you always, to the end of the age.

Christian, the context in Matthew 28 is evangelism, but these words go well beyond that scope, to include… every single day we live here on this earth…and, AND all of eternity!

How can that be? Because of Jesus’ resurrection from the we have the Holy Spirit of God living in us. It’s the presence of Almighty God, to guide,  encourage, and comfort, but also to fill us with His love.

Christian, you are NOT going through life… alone. You are not facing the swift current of the COVID pandemic… alone. You are not facing an uncertain financial future… alone, you are not struggling in a broken relationship… alone.

  • Jesus, our risen King, has declared His perpetual presence … is relevant today.
  1. God’s Word is true

PP: Sanctify them in the truth; Your Word is truth. (John 17:17)

All Scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness (2 Timothy 3:16) All flesh is like grass and all its glory like the flower of grass. The grass withers, and the flower falls, but the Word of the Lord remains forever. (1 Peter 1:24–25a)

Over and over again, Jesus said ‘I will rise on the 3rd day’, ‘I will be rise on the 3rd day.’ And He did!! Amen? The record as we look at the Bible, is consistent…  All of it is true, all of it, is profitable and all of it, remains forever.

  • Jesus, our risen King, has declared that His Word… is relevant today.
  1. Salvation is complete

PP: …Jesus…said, “It is finished,” and He bowed His head and gave up His spirit. (John 19:30b) But when Christ had offered for all time a single sacrifice for sins, He sat down at the right hand of God (Hebrews 10:12)

In both of these events, and I mean no disrespect, it’s like Jesus said:

  • I have completed the work of Salvation, nothing else is needed.’ PP:
  • Then he drops the mic and goes to heaven.

Salvation is complete, it’s done. Yes, it happened 2000 years ago, but because Jesus said it was done, He means it’s always effective, it always does its job.

  • Jesus, our risen King, has declared that His salvation… is relevant today.
  1. The church is established

PP: Jesus said … I will build My church, and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it.” (Matthew 16:18b)

Build my church is a future, active, verb. Jesus is building His church back then and will continue to build it, as time goes on, even in our time and beyond.

Also, as I understand it the phrase the gates of Hell shall not prevail against it, was a reference to death, in Jesus’ time. It’s as if Jesus weas saying ‘Even though I’m going to die, I will continue to build my church, throughout all time.

  • Jesus, our risen King, has declared that His church… is relevant today.
  1. Heaven is waiting

PP: Jesus said: Let not your hearts be troubled. Believe in God; believe also in Me. In My Father’s house are many rooms. If it were not so, would I have told you that I go to prepare a place for you? And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and will take you to Myself, that where I am you may be also. (John 14:1–3)

Christian, life on earth… is not all there is. Even the good things here on earth, are not even close to what awaits us in Heaven.

PP: …our citizenship is in heaven, and from it we await a Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ (Philippians 3:20)

A lot today is being argued about citizenship… but listen, in a very real way, we Christians, are aliens here on earth, our real citizenship, is in heaven. And we can live now, here, as faithful citizen of Heaven.

  • Jesus, our risen King, has declared that Heaven… is relevant today.
  1. Peace is ours

PP: On the evening of that day, the first day of the week, the doors being locked where the disciples were for fear of the Jews, Jesus came and stood among them and said to them, “Peace be with you.” (John 20:19)

Following His resurrection, Jesus appeared to His disciples. The text tells us they were afraid.

  • Fear is a theme that runs rampant throughout the Bible.
  • It seems our lives, especially during difficult and confusing times like the COVID pandemic are marked by fear of… well just about everything.

Yet, whenever Jesus confronts fear in the Bible, He always offers… His peace.

PP: Peace I leave with you; My peace I give to you. Not as the world gives do I give to you. Let not your hearts be troubled, neither let them be afraid. (Jn 14:27)  For He Himself is our peace, (Ephesians 2:14a)

Jesus is promising that whatever you encounter in this world… today or tomorrow, that makes you afraid, cannot keep making you afraid, when you place your trust in Him…

Because, not only will Jesus’ presence bring you peace… He is your peace.. today and everyday.

  • Jesus, our risen King, has declared that peace… is relevant today. 
  1. Strength when burdened

PP: Come to Me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take My yoke upon you, and learn from Me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For My yoke is easy, and My burden is light. (Matthew 11:28–30)

Not only does life today bring us fear, it very often overwhelms us.. sometimes there’s just too much ‘stuff’… going on. And no matter how good we are at multitasking, we hit the wall and we go no further.

  • It’s as if our legs are knocked out from under us.
  • We have no strength, no desire, no will to move forward.

And if left unaddressed or if we continue to try to ‘plow through’ the excessive weight of our burdens, we end up broken and weary.

But, our risen King offers us… strength to hold up under the burden of our worldly cares AND He offers us…rest, the much-needed rest from striving after the world, rather than trusting in Him, to guide and direct our steps.

  • Jesus, our risen King, has declared that His strength is … relevant today.
  1. New worldview

PP: For Christ’s love compels us, because we are convinced that one died for all, and therefore all died. And He died for all, that those who live should no longer live for themselves but for Him Who died for them and was raised again…. So from now on we regard no one from a worldly point of view… (2 Corinthians 5:13a-16a, NIV)

 A worldview is exactly as it sounds… it’s how we view reality, the world around us and all that goes with it.

Our worldview is supremely important because it guides and shapes everything else in our life: the choices we make when it comes to family, ethics, friends, education, career, finances, everything.

  • PP: I think it’s safe to say that our current culture’s worldview is anti-Christian since it focuses on self and not on Jesus.

Paul in 2 Corinthians, tells us what our new world view is as followers of Jesus Christ:

  • PP: For Christ’s love compels us, because we are convinced that one died for all, and therefore all died. And He died for all, that those who live should no longer live for themselves but for Him Who died for them and was raised again

 The Christian worldview is based on Jesus’ love for us, as His followers. It’s founded upon Jesus’ death and resurrection. But not just His… ours!

  • As Christians, through faith in Jesus, we too have died… in Christ, and are raised… in Christ, to no longer live for ourselves, but for Him.

PP: So that means when it comes to making the hard decisions in life: family, ethics, friends, education, career, finances, everything;

  • it’s the love of Jesus and our death and new live in Him,
  • that helps us make those decisions in a way that is consistent with our faith.

We begin to see the world… as God sees it. And we begin to live in the world in a way that honors the God we say we love and serve.

  • Jesus, our risen King, has declared that His worldview… is relevant today. 
  1. Forgiveness

PP: for this is My blood of the covenant, which is poured out for many for the forgiveness of sins. (Matthew 26:28) And if Christ has not been raised, your faith is futile and you are still in your sins. (1 Corinthians 15:17)

During the Last Supper, Jesus made a promise, not only to His disciples then, but to all who follow Him today. The blood that He will shed on the cross, will pay the penalty for our sin against God.

The Apostle Paul, in 2 Corinthians 15:17 connects the surety of Jesus’ forgiveness of our sin, to His resurrection. Pastor Richard Tow explains it this way:

  • Our acceptance before God is based on Jesus acceptance before God. That acceptance was demonstrated through Jesus’ resurrection.
  • Paul is making sure we understand the connection between our promise of eternal life and the resurrection of Jesus.
  • It is the resurrection of Jesus that confirms God’s acceptance of His sacrifice on the cross as payment for our sins. (end quote)

Then Paul writes this PP: But in fact Christ has been raised from the dead, the firstfruits of those who have fallen asleep.

For as in Adam all die, so also in Christ shall all be made alive.

(1 Corinthians 15:20, 22)

This is HUGE!! Christian… you still sin. Say it. I still sin… really, say it… I still sin. BUT, Praise God, through Jesus’ death and resurrection, you are still… forgiven!!

  • Jesus, our risen King, has declared that His forgiveness … is relevant today.
  1. Life, abundant and eternal

PP: Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. The old has passed away; behold, the new has come. (2 Cor 5:17)

Why is Easter important? Why is it still relevant to everything we do today?

  • Because it’s the day that Jesus conquered death and offered life to humanity. And He still makes that offer… today.

Let me briefly tell you a little about that new life Jesus offers today and then you can decide if it’s still relevant.

 ILL: PP: Pastor Lloyd Ogilvie wrote The most powerful historical proof of the resurrection is the ‘resurrected’ disciples. Dull, defeated people became fearless, adventuresome leaders. Cowards became courageous; the timid became triumphant; the inept did the impossible. ‘He is risen!’ became the joyous chant of a new life without limits. (Darrly Bell)

PP: Christian, the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead… changes lives..

  • not just by modifying our thoughts and behaviors,
  • but by putting our old life, our past life away, and putting on a new life patterned after Jesus.

Christian, your new life in Christ, is a life of power, resurrection power.  The Apostle Paul describes it this way: that I may know Him (Jesus) and the power of His resurrection…(Philippians 3:10a)

In Philippians 4:13 he tells us a little about that resurrection power we have in this new life in Christ: I can do all things through him who strengthens me. Isn’t that right Ellen Wilson?

  • When we struggle to deal with the restrictions and health issues associated with COVID, we can know that we have the resurrection power of Christ within us to see it through.
  • When we struggle with a marriage that’s falling apart we can know that we have the resurrection power of Christ within us to work it out.
  • When we struggle with a financial loss, we can know that we have the resurrection power of Christ within us to trust Him to provide.
  • When we struggle with the political environment, when we struggle with the bad choices we made in the past, when we struggle with the declining cultural morality, when we struggle with making the everyday decisions for our children and the life they face, we can know that we have the resurrection power of Christ within us, to make the right choices, to do the right thing.

Christian, your old life has been nailed to the cross of Calvary. And your life today and tomorrow is being held, directed and empowered by the resurrected Jesus.

  • Jesus, our risen King, has declared that His life in us and our life in Him… is relevant today.

Conclusion: PP: If you choose to make Jesus’ resurrection from the dead irrelevant to you today, you’ll find yourselves sinking into despair and great doubt.

  • Your faith will be shaken and your walk with Jesus, will be casual at best, non-existent at worst.

Or.. you can begin to see and be amazed by all the miracles the resurrected Jesus has brought to you and still has planned for you.

Christian, Easter is not just the celebration of some event in the distant past. It’s not some abstract concept. It’s real, it’s relevant!

  • It’s the celebration of Jesus’ power over sin and death that gives us NEW LIFE… today and every day.